“Oh my fur and whiskers!I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!“
Okay. It was really the White Rabbit who said that first, but it is very true for me, too, so let’s just go with it!
Due to the fact that it is December 20, and we have 15 finalists because there are 15 fabulous and generously donated prizes, and the Holiday Contest entries are a bit longer than the Halloweensie ones, we will skip all the joking around and get straight to the finalists!
There are witches in the air, Evil spirits everywhere. Creepy monsters walking by. Pumpkin moon up in the sky. . .
Halloween is so spooky, isn’t it?
Are you suggesting it’s not Halloween anymore?
Are you asserting that this is nonsense, and that Thanksgiving has come and gone, and it’s snowing where you are, and you’re putting up your holiday decorations and wondering what the twinkle twinkle little bat is going on around here?
It’s possible that this post is a teensy bit late in coming.
But better late than never, I always say!
And I hope you agree because, at long last, it’s time for you to see who the 2022 Halloweensie Contest Finalists are and vote for your favorite!
The 12th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest!!!
~ FINALISTS! ~
We’ve got an interesting mix this year. There were a LOT of entries about snakes and slugs (not surprising, given the “slither” requirement), quite a few “First Halloween” stories, lots of “costume decision” stories, an unfortunate number that were really mood pieces or lists that, while nicely written, were not stories, a few that didn’t use all the required words, one that didn’t use any!, several (sad face) with proofreading errors that prevented them from being finalists because it didn’t seem right to choose one with mistakes when there were other good stories without mistakes, more spooky/creepy/icky ones than usual, and more for the 9-12 age group than usual, and quite a few with a nice non-fiction-y element. . . In short, so many wonderful stories, as always! You are all so talented! We love the ones we chose, but we also loved a lot of the ones we didn’t or couldn’t choose.
If you didn’t make the finalist list, I don’t want you to feel bad! It doesn’t mean you didn’t write a good story! It’s VERY hard to tell a great story in 100 words. There is a LOT of competition. Out of 240 entries, 226 did not make the finals, so you are in excellent company. And don’t lose heart. A lot of you will be on the Honorable Mention Lists in a few days. The judging is always the part I hate 😊 There are always so many more I want to choose… But a contest is a contest, and so we have to try, to the best of our ability, to select the cream of the crop. I’m sure, despite our best efforts, there may be some we didn’t choose that you think we should have, and some we did choose you think we shouldn’t have. But we really tried to make good choices. We looked for originality and that little extra something that makes a story stand out.
And for those who didn’t make the cut, you still practiced your craft, wrote good stories, met writing requirements, wrote to a deadline, and increased your writing experience. You produced good work that you were brave enough to share in public. And you hopefully have a strong basis to build on that may allow you to expand and polish your story into a magazine piece or a picture book when you’re not constrained by the contest parameters. So bravo, and congratulations to everyone!
The 14 finalists are listed below. We have a mix of stories for younger and older children, some in rhyme and some in prose, some funny, some lovely, some downright creepy – all fabulous!
Please read them all, choose your favorite, and vote for it in the poll below by Tuesday November 29th at 7PM Eastern. (I do have a Tuesday Debut scheduled that day, so this post will drop from the top of my blog page, but I will be sure to include a link to this finalist/voting page so it’s still easy to find!)
Please feel free to share the link to this post on social media – the more readers and voters the better! Every one of these entries deserves to be read by as many people as possible. But I ask that you please not troll for votes! The contest is supposed to be based on merit, not a popularity contest based on who has the most followers or can talk more people into voting for their story. If you are a finalist, please do not say you’re a finalist or mention your entry by name or number. Encourage people to come read and vote, and let them make their own decisions. As judges, we make our selections blind. The names are all removed so we make our choices based solely on the story so we can remain unbiased. In fact, as of this writing, I still don’t know who wrote the stories on this list. You can bet I’m going to go look right after I post!
So read, enjoy, vote! 😊
1. RAINFOREST HALLOWEEN
The weeds were thick. The branches, slick. But Howard vowed to play a trick by sneaking up behind Doreen to frighten her on Halloween.
He’d slither near, unseen, unheard— a streak of color, faintly blurred— using stealthy camouflage, then shock her with a “BOO!” barrage.
He scurried, on his tree-top chore, high above the valley floor and spied her on a banyan trunk. A terrify-your-friend slam dunk!
What a treat! That very night he gave Doreen a spooky fright. AHHhhh!
Yes, Howard the chameleon scared sweet Doreen the gecko.
But after Howard hollered “BOO!!!”—he fainted, from the echo. BOOooo-ooo-ooo!
2. THE FRIGHTFUL FUGITIVE
Beneath a full and pumpkin moon, I flew to trick-or-treat, when, from the corner of my eye, I spied a heap of meat.
I shivered as it stared at me, wide eyes without a face, a creature with no place on Earth. It came from outer space!
With body like a comet’s tail, legs like a centipede’s, it slithered through the unkempt field to jump me from the weeds.
A skeleton creaked up just then, gave me a bony hug. “You’ve found my brain and spine!” he said and took that scary slug.
3. A SHADY HALLOWEEN
It was Halloween, and Sun was fuming. “Moon has all the fun!” huffed Sun. “I can be spooky. Come play, ghosts, goblins, and ghouls!” But all Sun got on this bone-chilling holiday… was festive foliage and boisterous birdsong. BORING. “Sun,” whispered Moon, spying the sulky star. “How about a daytime treat?” Sun beamed as Moon’s shadow masked her rays, until… all was dark! Witches flew— WHOOSH! Skeletons danced the monster-mash— RAP TAP! Black cats pranced on tip-toe— MEOW! Ghosts haunted the Halloween Bash— WooooOOOOOOooooo! Then… Sun slithered out. “BOO!” Spooky creatures everywhere agreed— Sun’s scare eclipsed all other Halloweens!
I didn’t mean to SCARE her, but I guess that’s what ghosts do. As ghosts go, I’m not scary. I simply whisssspered, “Boo!” I mean, it’s Halloween night, so, I SLITHERED up the walk. I wriggled up the steps and adjusted my ghost-sock. My tongue flicked out and rang the bell. I gave a fangy grin. My scaly tail held out my bag– “Let trick or TREAT begin!” She gasped. She squealed. She dropped the bowl. She fainted dead away. Who knew a sock with two eyeholes could scare someone this way?
5. HALLOWEEN NIGHT LIGHT
A candle in a pumpkin sees the sun set out of sight. Then tilts its flame near windows cut to free the candle’s light.
Its glow will guide the ghouls and ghosts— some scary, others sweet— by casting beams upon a path for all to trick-or-treat.
“Stay bright tonight!” The candle chants behind its pumpkin’s face, while waxy droplets slither down and puddle at its base.
It droops. It stoops. But still, it shines ‘til night has come and gone. Then sighs triumphant threads of smoke into the light of dawn.
6. TRICK-OR-TREAT, SHOES TO EAT
It’s a Halloween party!
Ruff, ruff. Roo!
No shoes on the carpet means . . .
Front-door treats for me!
I must have one. Or two. Or ten!
Nobody’s looking. I gotta go fast.
Crawl. Slither. Roll over.
How to choose?
Sniff. Lift. Wag.
Ruff, ruff. Roo!
I want them ALL!
I need treats to-go.
Gotcha, kitten heels.
The purrfect pair.
Jump. Gallop. Zigzag.
Under the bed.
Trick-or-treat, shoes to eat.
Ruff, ruff. ROO!
7. HALLOWEEN IS MAGIC
“It’s Halloween!” Witch Wanda screeched. “And I can’t scare up tricks or treats!”
“The cauldron’s cracked.” “My potion burned.” “I’m out of bats and three-eyed worms.”
So Wanda flew into the night, And gathered things to give a fright.
Ten slithery snakes, Two warty toads, A shrew that had a runny nose.
“Yippee!” she cried, “What spooky fun!” “Can’t wait to see those kiddies run!”
But when they spied Witch Wanda’s “treats”, Excited children filled the streets.
They hugged the snakes. They cuddled the shrew.
Now Wanda runs a petting zoo.
8. SCARY GOAT SCAM
Billy and Maribelle thought it unfair that the Halloween treats were not evenly shared. Bored with their thistle and grass-loaded diet, “Oh Candy” sighed Billy, “I’m eager to try it.”
They made themselves costumes to scare the town silly, smeared mud on their beards and tossed hay willy-nilly. They covered their horns, pinned their beards tightly down and with eyes glaring brightly they clomped into town.
The villagers fled as their fear slithered out, scattering treat bags and candy about. The goats quickly gobbled the treats left behind, “Not bad” Billie said, “But these bags taste divine!”
9. SAPLING’S HALLOWEEN
Sapling was scared. October was nearly over, and still she had no costume. On October 1st, Maple proudly primped in his pumpkin colors. By mid month, Oak fetchingly flaunted her firefighter red. Sapling grew green with envy. “Don’t worry,” Hickory whispered through his fur-brown mask of foliage. “Mother Nature will make sure you’re ready for trick or treat.” Hickory and his brothers were the three bears. On Halloween Eve, Sapling swayed slightly. A cool breeze slithered through her leaves. She held onto hope. When the sun rose on Halloween, Sapling’s costume was complete. Sapling, the young Ginkgo, was Goldilocks.
10. MIDNIGHT SNACK
Slither, Slither. Tiptoe, CREEEEAK. shh. The moon is bright. It’s time to sneak.
Down the hallway. Stop to see. zzzz. The coast is clear. I smirk with glee.
‘Twas a night of costumed fun. oooOO. With bags of treats the night was done.
Now I creep and Tiptoe light. grrrr. A shadow’s there! I freeze with fright!
Stepping slowly, Then a whirl! phew. It’s just the dog… “You scared me, girl!”
In the kitchen hidden high. mmm. I reach the snacks “Success!” I sigh.
Then I heard a great big SNAP! AHH. “I caught you Dad! You like my trap?”
11. A MARTIAN’S HALLOWEEN
A tiny spaceship landed with a rumble and a roar So Timothy, a Martian boy decided to explore Zombies, witches, scary creatures slithered down the street Traveling from door to door, they shouted “TRICK OR TREAT!”
Suddenly, poor Timothy felt frightened and alone “This Earthly kind of holiday just isn’t in my zone!” An alien, dressed up in green, peculiarly appeared “You’re looking lost. I’ll get you home,” she gladly volunteered. She found his spaceship just in time. He knew she saved the day. Then she reached inside her sack. “Have a Milky Way.”
12. PUMPKIN PRIDE
One tiny pumpkin sat on the vine.
“Grow, Pumpkin, grow,” chanted Witch.
When scary bugs slithered close, Ghost shouted “Boo!”
“Grow, Pumpkin, grow,” chanted Ghost.
Mummy watered during four months of sunshine.
“Grow, Pumpkin, grow,” chanted Mummy.
Cool weather came; Pumpkin stopped growing.
“Pumpkin’s perfect!” said Witch, Ghost, and Mummy.
“Let’s bring him to the contest at the Trick-or-Treat Fair!”
Carved pumpkins… Warty pumpkins… Tasty pumpkins…
But no pumpkin beat Pumpkin.
Witch, Ghost, and Mummy beamed with pumpkin pride
Their precious Pumpkin won grand prize —
WORLD’S HEAVIEST PUMPKIN
FUN FACT: The Guinness World Record for heaviest pumpkin is 2,702 pounds.
13. THE SWEETEST TREAT
It’s Halloween! Come one and all! Slither, scurry, climb and crawl –
gather round the bright full moon. Children will be coming soon.
As they swarm the darkened streets, calling out their “Trick or Treats!”
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